In my humble opinion, there is a great deal of confusion around about what the gospel is and that is reflected in much of our preaching.
Tom Reinke has suggested “Three Questions to Ask Before Listening To Any Sermon“. His questions are:
- How am I saved?
- What am I saved from?
- What am I saved for?
His desire is that people be discerning about what they hear.
Helpfully, he identifies some gospel variants (such as “the therapeutic gospel”) and describes how each of them would answer those questions. He also suggests how those questions should be answered. You might want to see if you agree.
Besides preparing to listen to sermons, those questions could be useful in other contexts. For example, in a mentoring/disciple-making context, might the disciple be encouraged to think them through and come back with his/her answers including the scriptures that have informed those answers?
There are so many different understandings about the gospel it is crucial that we equip people with a biblical view. Our understanding of the gospel will influence every area of our lives. For example, are we still afraid that we might not have done enough to satisfy God? If we have been saved, does it matter if we sin? What is the place of works in our salvation?
Some resources that might help in this reflection can be found on the Followers website.